Racism or valid criticism of a broken system? Anti-immigration sentiment grips Sweden

3 Sep, 2018 09:05 / Updated 3 years ago
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Anti-immigration sentiment may prove to be the defining factor in the upcoming general election in Sweden. RT explores why some Swedes believe their country’s system of dealing with migrants is broken.

Sweden has long considered itself one of Europe’s most tolerant nations. When, three years ago, Europe was hit with a refugee crisis in which over a million undocumented immigrants arrived on the continent from the Middle East and Northern Africa, Sweden’s share of arrivals was the highest per capita.

Now hostile sentiments towards immigrants are increasingly gripping parts of Swedish society. Swedes will elect their lawmakers on Sunday. Polls show that Sweden Democrats – a party that advocates a freeze on asylum seekers, stronger policing, tougher punishment of crime, and similar policies – may score the second-largest share of seats in parliament.

Some say a radical change in the country’s immigration system is necessary to preserve Sweden’s national identity. Critics call this position xenophobic and racist. Even some asylum seekers, who receive benefits paid for by taxpayers, say the system is failing them, as RT’s Maria Finoshina found out. Watch the report to find out more.